Accidental mortality is pervasive in small mammal livetrapping studies and presents a welfare concern for the particularly vulnerable shrews (Soricomorpha: Soricidae). Although small mammal researchers are aware of this problem and generally suspect that high mortality rates are caused by nutritional constraints and potentially high moisture requirements, these hypotheses have not been widely tested and the problem persists for lack of a practical solution. We conducted a field experiment to assess the effects of providing either high-energy palatable food or water supplements on mortality rates of Blarina brevicauda and Sorex spp. using standard small mammal livetrapping techniques. Water supplements had no effect on shrew mortality, but mortality rates declined by 49% for B. brevicauda and by 64% for Sorex spp. when sunflower seed bait was supplemented with 4 g of mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) compared to controls. Furthermore, the addition of mealworms as a bait supplement eliminated the adverse effect on mortality of the length of time that Sorex were in traps prior to release. The supplementation of live-trap baits with mealworms, therefore, represents a practical method for small mammal researchers to reduce accidental shrew mortality during small mammal livetrapping.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 94 • No. 4